30 Famous Historical Quotes On Writing in Plain Language:

Found this list and thought I’d share it with you all 🙂

1. Let thy speech be short, comprehending much in a few words. ~Apocrypha

2. Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret of style. ~Matthew Arnold

3. To simplify complications is the first essential of success. ~George Earle Buckle

4. When you wish to instruct, be brief. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. ~Cicero

5. Words in prose ought to express the intended meaning; if they attract attention to themselves, it is a fault; in the very best styles you read page after page without noticing the medium. ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

6. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~Leonardo da Vinci

7. Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction. ~Albert Einstein

8. The finest language is mostly made up of simple unimposing words. ~George Eliot

9. Whenever we can make 25 words do the work of 50, we halve the area in which looseness and disorganization can flourish. ~Wilson Follett

10. Anyone who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid. ~H.W. Fowler

11. The finest words in the world are only vain sounds if you can’t understand them. ~Anatole France

12. The most important lesson in the writing trade is that any manuscript is improved if you cut away the fat. ~Robert Heinlein

13. The chief virtue that language can have is clearness, and nothing detracts from it so much as the use of unfamiliar words. ~Hippocrates

14. The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. ~Hans Hofmann

15. The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. ~Thomas Jefferson

16. A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit. ~Samuel Johnson

17. Use familiar words—words that your readers will understand, and not words they will have to look up. No advice is more elementary, and no advice is more difficult to accept. When we feel an impulse to use a marvellously exotic word, let us lie down until the impulse goes away. ~James J. Kilpatrick

18. Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. ~Charles Mingus

19. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms. ~George Orwell

20. The letter I have written today is longer than usual because I lacked the time to make it shorter. ~Blaise Pascal

21. Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. ~William Penn

22. The shorter and the plainer the better. ~Beatrix Potter

23. One should aim not at being possible to understand, but at being impossible to misunderstand. ~Quintilian

24. Men of few words are the best men. ~William Shakespeare

25. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. ~William Strunk and E. B. White

26. The trouble with so many of us is that we underestimate the power of simplicity. ~Robert Stuberg

27. As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out. ~Mark Twain

28. Use the smallest word that does the job. ~E.B. White

29. Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. ~William Butler Yeats

30. Writing improves in direct ratio to the things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there. ~William Zinsser




About N. M. Thomas

I was born in the West of France, a region I like a lot. We moved around a lot with my parents and ended up in Paris area when I was five. I lived around Paris area until I was twenty one and decided to move to England to improve my English (yes, just like that!) It wasn't easy to be in a country and a part of Britain itself (East Yorkshire)where I could not understand people talking to me. The accent was so important that it took me about a year to become fluent. I stayed there for four years and decided to go back home to Paris. I met my husband, who is American, and finally, only stayed just over a year in France as we moved to the United States. I've always loved literature and foreign languages. I speak fluent French and English, and know some Russian, Italian, Spanish and German. I started to write poems when I was a teenager. My dad actually influenced me a lot, he used to write beautiful poems in French (and I keep telling him he should publish them!)So, I carried on writing poems until I decided to start writing books. I've got two amazing children who keep me on my toes all day long so I only get some time to write at night, but I would not change that for the whole world! And I find inspirations from the music I listen, Lifehouse, Casting Crows, Fireflight and others, but also and mainly from instrumental music, original movie soundtracks (those I love!)
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